Politics of Sun, 4 Dec 20166
PPP has best policies for Ghana – Nduom
The Flag bearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has promised to transform Ghana to make it great, strong and prosperous.
If voted into power, Dr Nduom says he would unite the people to ensure lasting peace to enable development and put in place an all-inclusive, lean administration of not more than 40 ministers of state for accelerated development and reform the public sector to become responsive to the private productive sector.
This was contained in the second part of his national broadcast titled Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.
He said: “I wish to be specific in the area of jobs, jobs, jobs to emphasise the point that if you are a business owner in Ghana or a young man or woman looking for a job, your best choice on December 7 is the Progressive People's Party (PPP), the bright red sun and Papa Kwesi Nduom, Number 4 on the ballot.”
Please find below the full statement of the National Broadcast:
NATIONAL BROADCAST PART TWO: JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
(I wish to be specific in the area of jobs, jobs, jobs to emphasize the point that if you are a business owner in Ghana or a young man or woman looking for a job, your best choice on December 7th is the Progressive People's Party, the bright red sun and Papa Kwesi Nduom, Number 4 on the ballot.)
My name is Papa Kwesi Nduom the Presidential Candidate of the Progressive People's Party. My life has been guided by my faith, family values and public service. I am a local boy from Elmina. By the Grace of God, education, and hard work, I have been able to create jobs in all the districts of the country through the private sector.
I have gained experience as Economic Planning & Regional Cooperation, Energy and Public Sector Reform Minister. I am asking for the opportunity to use the positive experience I have gained to benefit millions of Ghanaians.
I am Number 4 on the Presidential Ballot, the one in the kente cloth and with the bright red sun.
Our focus is unique in Ghanaian politics- job creation through competent, incorruptible leadership. No political party in Ghana, not the NDC or the NPP has been so bold and clear about its focus.
As written in our Policy Document, “... the PPP seeks the opportunity to implement an efficient Agenda for Accelerated Change that is built on Incorruptible Leadership, Education, Healthcare and Jobs.
Highlights of some of our unique non-negotiable policies are:
1. Constitutional Reforms & Good Governance: reform our constitution to strengthen parliament, elect district, municipal and metropolitan chief executives; create a strong independent public prosecutor to root out government corruption; and make Parliament truly independent by ensuring that a Member of Parliament cannot serve as a Minister of State at the same time. Work with Parliament to pass the Right to Information Bill to bring transparency and encourage accountability in government.
2. Public Sector Reforms: reform state institutions, make government efficient and raise revenue to be able to pay public servants well to motivate them to facilitate the work of the private sector and Ghanaian society in general. Create a Ministry of Public Service to lead the task of continuous reform and modernisation of state institutions. Reduce the number of ministers of state to 40 and rely on professional civil and local servants to ensure efficient administration. We will abolish the position of regional minister.
3. Preventable Diseases: ensure a cleaner environment free from preventable diseases like malaria, cholera, monococal meningitis and guinea worm. Just like countries in the Americas, Europe and elsewhere became malaria free, so can Ghana with the right leadership from the PPP. Ensure emergency care throughout the country to save lives. Our focus will be in the area of prevention where education is the key.
4. Compulsory & Universal Education: provide Quality Education for Every Ghanaian Child. Standardize school facilities from kindergarten to Senior High, with libraries, toilets, classrooms, kitchen, housing for teachers, playground, etc.; and Ensure Free and Compulsory education in public schools from Kindergarten to Senior (including ICT training). We will deploy an “Education Police” to enforce the compulsory aspect of our policy. An integral part of this objective will be an objective to significantly increase vocational training so that all school leavers gain employable skills.
5. Agriculture & Food Security: provide a market to sustain our farmers and fishermen. We will use the state’s purchasing power to provide the assurance that the labor of our farmers and fishermen will not be in vain. Construct good roads that link farms to market centres to ensure that our farmers are able to transport their produce for sale easily, as one way of reducing poverty. Address post harvest losses by reviewing specific crops and potential for processing, value addition, effective storage schemes etc. Instead of the corruption infested political gimmicks like giving out outboard motors and premix fuel, introduce and implement policies that yield aquatic abundance.
One way to provide ready market is to ensure that all basic schools on the school feeding program as well as Senior High Schools patronize strictly, made in Ghana commodities for cooking.
6. Financing Energy: implement solutions with a sense of urgency to meet domestic needs for industry and residential use. To enable us achieve this objective, we will provide tax incentives to enable development of alternative sources of fuel and power – bio fuels and solar. Aim to ensure that the contribution from renewable sources of energy reaches in a decade, a minimum of 10% of what we need. Provide adequate funding to deal with generation, transmission and distribution challenges.
7. Economic Infrastructure: To accelerate job creation nationally, build an inter-region highway with the same high quality throughout the country to open up the country for investment and development. In the same way, implement with a sense of urgency plans to extend railways to the four corners of the country to facilitate the movement of goods and people. Engage in a comprehensive housing programme throughout the country and promote the use of clay and other natural resources to boost employment prospects.
8. Sports: a comprehensive sports programme to instill discipline and promote better health. The comprehensive sports programme will ensure that with government support, we begin to develop future world and Olympic champions. Our performance at successive Olympic Games have not been befitting of a country of our stature.
9. Domestic Enterprise Development: improve Ghana’s business climate to enable investment in job creation so that our people will stay at home to help develop the country and its economy. We will be relentless in providing support to Ghanaian industry and our farmers and fishermen using low interest loans, technical assistance, tax incentives and priority access to the Ghanaian market.
10. Women's Enterprise Development: to train, encourage and promote the growth and development of women entrepreneurs in the country. This will include technical assistance, low interest loans and the setting aside of portions of government contracts to enterprises founded and managed by women.
11. Technology: ensure application of technology to enable the implementation of national objectives in areas such as national identification, drivers licensing, passports, criminal information systems; provide support to ICT entrepreneurs to make Ghana a hub for technology product development and innovation.
The Presidents we have had in Ghana since 1993, all came with good intentions and have done the best they can. But the best they have delivered leaves so must more to be done. We are a country saddled with huge debt, about 65% of our GDP, near HIPC levels, an unacceptable high percentage of our people are unemployed, the majority of our children do not get past JHS level and we are still bedeviled by preventable diseases such as malaria, cholera, and HIV-AIDS.
I Papa Kwesi Nduom will transform this nation to make it great and strong with all of its people prosperous. As your President, I will Unite the people to ensure lasting peace to enable development; and Put in place an all-inclusive, lean administration of not more than 40 ministers of state for accelerated development and reform the public sector to become responsive to the private productive sector.
I wish to be specific in the area of jobs, jobs, jobs to emphasize the point that if you are a business owner in Ghana or a young man or woman looking for a job, your best choice on December 7th is the Progressive People's Party, the bright red sun and Papa Kwesi Nduom, Number 4 on the ballot.
Key initiatives to remember from me tonight are: Rice revolution and strategic intervention in agriculture; real estate for growth; petrochemicals industry; tourism.
1. We will encourage rice farming and milling in Ghana so that in four years, we stop the importation of rice - we will save the hundreds of millions we spend to import rice. This alone will mean one million well paying jobs in virtually all the ten regions. I know that this can be done because my company Groupe Nduom has invested in a rice mill in Worawora in the Volta region and is building a new one in Assin Breku in the Central Region.
2. We will invest and support cashew growing and local processing in the Brong Ahafo, Central and other regions - especially in towns such as Sampa, Wenchi, Tuobodom.
3. We will invest in fruit processing factories in the Central, Western, Eastern and Volta regions and promote the export of their output.
4. We will promote the large scale cultivation and processing of palm oil in the Western, Eastern, Central, Ashanti and Volta regions to feed existing and new processing factories in Ghana and for export.
5. In the Western Region we will ensure the development of a petrochemical industry and the movement of the headquarters of oil and gas producers including GNPC to that region. (Petrochemicals are organic chemicals made from crude oil and natural gas for use in industrial processes. Examples are methanol, ethylene, propylene, butadiene, tuoluene and xylene. Used to make plastics, PVC panels, bullet proof vests, solar panels, medicines, consumer electronics, wind turbines and automobile parts.)
6. We will develop the Central Region Kakum National Park, the Forts and Castles and the Mole National forest as major international tourist attractions and destinations with nearby airports and enabling infrastructure.
7. We will invest in the processing of yam into international quality chips for domestic consumption and export in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions.
8. We will raise the real estate industry to heights hitherto unimaginable
In conclusion, it is clear that the PPP's brand of politics is unique, exceptional and just what Ghanaians need to give them hope and confidence. Our inclusive approach will ensure that we select the best men and women to find and implement the solutions needed.
The PPP led by me Papa Kwesi Nduom will amend pension investment rules to ensure that the Ghanaian private sector gets the long term capital they need at low cost. (Pension Act 766 (2008) and Act 883 (2014))
It is important to note that last year the pension funds accumulated to be managed by private fund managers was GHS4.6 billion representing 3.3% of GDP. This will experience exponential growth and channeled properly, will provide the much needed capital for the use of the private sector.
All the presidential candidates are talking about job creation but there is only one DOER when it comes to jobs, jobs, jobs. Edwumawura, Papa Kwesi Nduom.
As your President, I will work diligently to make our farmers prosperous.
What I heard, saw and experienced in the Brong Ahafo region overall convinces me that the election must be about development. It must not just be about winning votes. We need votes to win power and implement our ideas, yes. But we must face the realities on the ground and fashion solutions, good ones, that will improve the living standards of the people.
GN Bank is in every major town in the region and this we have done against great odds. There is a huge infrastructure deficit there as the roads are horrible including the ones leading to productive areas such as Sampa, Tuobodom, Berekum, Yeji and Kajeji. These towns are part of the agricultural belt in a region that has given us cashew, cocoa, rice, yam, etc.
There is a lack of local investment to support the processing of the cashew, yam, cocoa to create jobs and as a result provide the assurance of a good market for the hard working farmers there. There is no protection from government to ensure that the cashew farmers do not continue to suffer from predatory foreign buyers.
American farmers are better off because their government protects them against unfair competition and provides subsidies in various forms. The PPP will provide Ghanaian farmers the same opportunities to live a better life. We can do this.
The PPP will Support Our Farmers to do better - through strategic intervention.
Agriculture employed about 53.6% of Ghanaians in 2015
More than half of Ghana’s population is dependent on agriculture, and therefore growth in production is important in particular for employment in rural areas, food security as well as reducing dependency on imports. There is a need to improve the enabling environment for agriculture, for example access to suitable finance and continued efforts to reduce importation of food and food products such as rice and palm oil. But the Agriculture Sector's contribution to GDP under President John Mahama reduced by 2.5% in 2015.
The PPP will start a rice revolution in Ghana and enable the employment of one million people working profitably on farms, rice mills and sales agencies.
The rice industry in Ghana has seen unprecedented increase in consumption levels over the past decade. The estimated national consumption of rice has consistently increased from 2006 to 2014. It grew by an average rate of 14% to reach 865,376 metric tonnes in 2014. Nearly 40% of total rice imports are aromatic variety with imports estimated at 413,609 metric tonnes in 2014. Based on cost insurance, freight, and duties, the rice import bill is estimated to be over US$600m as of 2013. The increase in import bill has the potential to grow if there are no strategic interventions in the rice industry to facilitate development and growth of the local counterpart. Current rice production (approximately 393,000 MT, milled equivalent) has resulted in a self-sufficiency rate of 38%, while the government agriculture sector plan aims at 75% self-sufficiency for rice in the next couple of years. Through strategic interventions, the PPP will ensure self-sufficiency within four years of being in office.
The PPP will aggressively support expansion in the areas of cashew and oil palm for jobs.
West Africa, where 80% of the continent's cashew nuts are grown, processes only 5-6% of its cashew output. Finance is a major obstacle, with interest rates for loans as high as 30%. This has led to the dominance of foreign processing firms such as Olam. The current level of production hovering around 50,000mt in the country is insufficient to meet the installed processing capacity close to 70,000mt and not to even talk of the large quantum that traders export. Previously, processors and exporters used to easily get supplements from La Cote d’Iviore through the borders but the Ivorian government has banned the inland trade of the commodity, causing hard times for the industry in Ghana.
Cashew farmers have been worried about their inability to access competitive credit to boost production and the annual bushfire menace which continues to wreck cashew plantations. Processors also have identified the current system of lending rate to agro-processing banks business unfriendly; skyrocketing utility tariffs; expensive labour cost and swelling import duties on machinery as some of the issues kicking them out of business. The PPP will address these problems positively.
Of the 17 major vegetable oils traded on the international market, palm oil is the most important. It accounts for more than half of the global import and export trade of all vegetable oils.
•- Demand for palm oil is growing particularly fast:-
o It is the most competitively priced vegetable oil o There is growing usage in a wide range of products o Demand is growing internationally, regionally and within Ghana
•- Palm oil is 5 to 10 times more productive than other oil bearing crops and has the lowest requirement for inputs of fuel, fertilizers and pesticides per tonne of production
•- About 80% of current world palm oil production is consumed in the form of food. Rising food demand coupled with growing demand for non-food uses is likely to sustain the continued rapid growth in demand for palm oil in the foreseeable future.
•- With an estimated world wide population increase of 11.6 percent and a 5 percent increase in per capital consumption, an additional 28 million tonnes of vegetable oils will have to be produced annually by 2020. Palm oil is well placed to meet this demand with the lowest requirement for new land. An additional 6.3 million ha would need to be planted for oil palm; in contrast, if the increased demand were to be satisfied by soybean oil production, an additional 42 million hectares of land would need to be cultivated.
Ghana under a PPP administration will strategically expand the oil palm sector to meet the increasing demand for industrial quality palm oil. We will facilitate and encourage existing mills to capture all the benefits of scale and support new mills to be in the large scale class.
Job creation is our goal. We will prepare our children by arming them with high quality education at the high school level, improve our health by managing preventable diseases we will set the stage for a productive labour force to propel Ghanaian industry to greater heights.
Greater Accra: This region is the hub of industry and commerce in Ghana but suffers from energy deficiency. The PPP will work to provide abundant energy to maximise productivity of industry in this region. We have more sunlight than the Chinese, more than the Europeans, more and more than America, and yet we do not manufacture solar panels. In four years, with technical assistance, we will be able to assemble solar panels here in Accra. Our performance at this year’s Olympic games was not fitting of a country with our stature. We will build a state of the art Sports Center in Accra with an Olympic size swimming training school along the coast. A unique feature of our plans includes expanding and cleaning up the water bodies in the Accra-Tema area to make them garbage free, mosquito free and prepare them to become leisure and recreational sites. This will include the development of the Old Fadama area into a first class park with gardens after the resettlement of the current residents in a very humane manner. We will ensure the protection of the region’s beaches and ocean front to secure homes and fishing communities. We promise to ensure the resolution of property rights to free up the opportunity to develop large scale salt production in the region with related processing plants.
Ashanti Region: Gold abounds in the Ashanti region and yet it does not serve as a source of mass employment. The PPP aims to promote the setting up of a gold refinery with its related factories for the manufacturing of jewelry and with government facilitation attract international buyers to make market and create jobs. With the support of the Otumfuo the Asantehene, the PPP will develop a new international airport to place Kumasi on the travel map and open up the region to international tourism, trade and commerce. The PPP takes productivity seriously. Thousands of man hour are wasted traveling from Accra to Kumasi. This journey takes 6 hours on dangerous narrow roads. The new international airport will reduce strain on the Accra International Airport for air shipping of bulk haulage, and to take more dangerous articulated trucks off the roads. The Ashanti region would be the first to manufacture cars and bicycles. We will seek public private partnerships to create a factory to produce cocoa sacks and footwear in the region. We could export these products to other countries in Africa.
Western Region: The PPP will reward the people of the Western region with infrastructure that complements its contribution to the nation. In particular, first class highways will connect Shama to Elubo to Enchi, Akontombra, Tarkwa, Bogoso, Prestea, Dadieso, Awaso and make travel Dunkwa and Tarkwa much easier. Sekondi-Takoradi will once again become a proud modern railway hub. A PPP administration will re-develop Western region towns and cities beginning with the oil belt into modern, environmentally sound communities. The petrochemicals industry will be critical for the Western region. We will process gas and refine our crude oil to use its by-products produce bitumen, polyester, plastics and petroleum jelly. The Western region will become a leader in the African biofuels industry. We would assist Ghanaians firms in the ownership and development of palm oil plantations. We will use science and technology to plant hybrid plants that mature in 17 months instead of 7 years. Countries like Australia have done it and we can do it here in Ghana if we work with a sense of urgency. We will stop the importation of palm oil to meet our needs domestically. Virgin Atlantic uses biofuel for its planes and in four years Ghanaian bio-fuel will fly our export products all over the world.
Central Region: The Central region is the heartbeat of tourism in Ghana and the people will be made to feel it. The Museums and Monuments Board and the Tourism Authority will be empowered with the resources needed to realise the tourism potential of the region. The world heritage castles and forts would be restored to their original grandeur. World class fishing landing ports would be built within the first term. First class secondary schools would be expanded to take in more students both local and international. Fishing processing companies would be established to handle excess fish during bumper periods. An airport, appropriately sized, to harness the tourism potential of the region will be developed. A PPP administration will aggressively promote through private public partnership a fish processing factory and fruit processing factories in the region.
Northern Region: The Mole Game Park will be provided with the needed road and the 25,000 acres of park land would be fenced in as has been done with Krueggar park in South Africa to prevent the animals from wandering to neighbouring countries.. We will put in an airstrip and other infrastructure commensurate with its potential to rival game parks on the African continent. A six year development plan will be initiated to open up the forgotten areas of the region especially the stretch from Nankpanduri, Saboba, Chereponi, Zabzugu, Yendi, Salaga, Bimbilla, Wulensi connecting with Nkwanta in the Volta region. The region’s potential to become the breadbasket of the country with factories to process maize, groundnuts, soya beans and mango will be developed. Due to this increased processing, during a PPP administration, there will be no need to import cooking oil.
Upper East: A first class highway to link Bolga to Wa will be constructed to promote investment in the Upper East and Upper West regions. The corridor Bawku, Garu, Tempane, Widana and Pusiga will be developed to serve as a hub for international commerce with Togo and Burkina Faso. We will work towards bringing mechanized farming to facilitate mango and other fruit cultivation in this region. Large scale cattle ranches to enable meat processing will be initiated.
Brong Ahafo: The Bui Dam will be used to serve as a point for further development of industry in the region. Private companies such as Ghana Nuts Company will be supported to expand the processing of agriculture raw materials to create jobs. Mining companies in the region will be encouraged to become staging points for local small business development. Poultry and Wood processing businesses will be given technical and financial support to serve the needs of the Ghanaian market. With regard to poultry farming, the state’s purchasing power will be used to save the industry from collapse and push it to serve the needs of Ghanaians. Cashew production and processing will get a major boost.
Volta Region: The Aflao-Lome border post will be completed along with other business/industrial park in the area to promote job creation. The quality of the eastern corridor road linking the Volta and Northern regions will be improved. The PPP will fortify the beaches to preserve the fishing industry, save homes and communities from sea erosion and enhance the potential for tourism. We will support Ghanaian entrepreneurs to establish rice processing factories, vegetables canning factories, and salt manufacturing industries in the Volta region. We will work with our neighbours to plan for rail lines to Nigeria to access their market of over 150 million people in that country alone.
Upper West: The PPP insists on a high quality highway from Brong Ahafo through Upper West to Burkina Faso border to open up the region to investment. We will complete and modernise the University of Development Studies, Wa Campus. In addition, the Wa Polytechnic and Technical School will be modernised and re-equipped to serve the purpose. We will link the Wechiau hippo sanctuary with the Mole Game park to create a vibrant wildlife tourism corridor for jobs.
We believe in Ghanaian excellence. We believe in Ghanaian prosperity. We believe in all of the Ghanaian people. Our pact with you is that, once elected, we will fight for dramatically accelerated developmental progress. We will fight to move Ghana away from the maintenance of mediocrity, the culture of indiscipline, the constant failure of leadership, the cruelty of resource mismanagement and the tragedy of low expectations for developing African nations such as Ghana.
The PPP is asking for your votes on Wednesday 7 December so that we can create an inclusive, united Ghanaian society – TEAM GHANA. It is this new national unity that will reinvent Ghana. We, promise to build one solid Team Ghana by re-inventing our Ghanaian selves, our attitudes and our way of life. The PPP has emerged with the courage to stand up and say we are not just here to give empty promises to win power.
May God touch your hearts and minds to enable you to vote for the change that will make Papa Kwesi Nduom the next President of the Republic of Ghana.
God bless our Homeland Ghana.